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Dick Fuld: Scapegoat or villain?

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Nearly a year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, a failure that triggered the global economic crisis, the much-lambasted chief executive Richard Fuld seemed burdened — but not crushed — by the pressure of the upcoming annivesary.

“You know what, the anniversary’s coming up,” he told Reuters. “I’ve been pummeled, I’ve been dumped on, and it’s all going to happen again. I can handle it. You know what, let them line up.”

Fuld, a nearly 40-year veteran of the company, took Lehman’s reins in 1994 at one of its darkest hours and rebuilt it into the fourth-largest U.S. investment bank, a Wall Street powerhouse whose massively profitable mortgage banking machine inspired rivals’ envy.

But after filing the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history, Fuld was vilified and humiliated before a Congressional panel last October and named in nearly 40 different legal actions.

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